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Land Securities' chief urges off-site housing production

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The UK’s biggest property developer has called on architects to reconsider their approach to residential design

Speaking at the British Council for Offices (BCO) conference in Edinburgh, Mike Hussey, managing director of Land Securities’ London portfolio said: ‘What I would really like to see is the design industry addressing standardisation and offsite production in a way that doesn’t produce a volume product.

‘One area open to this is residential. It’s been done broadly the same way for 40-60 years and there is an opportunity now. Why can’t today’s architects look at residential in the way they’ve looked at commercial, and come up with a better solution for affordable volume house building?

‘There will always be a challenge on density and location. If the architects can pull innovation out of the hat the market will get moving quicker.’

Hussey also argued that the emerging trend by practices to drop fees to win work was not only bad business but futile. ‘‘If an architect cuts his costs it makes very little difference to the viability of the project. Unless everybody else does, it is only a very small component.

’You can’t afford to run a business without making a profit. I think what firms have to do is look where they think they can engage and add value for their clients and then adjust their business to do that.’

Read this week’s AJ for a full review of the BCO conference.



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